Personal trainers are a dime a dozen. There are thousands of yoga instructors. Instagram account after Instagram account shows healthy eating, gives nutrition tips, and “quick, healthy weeknight meals” Some days it seems like everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. And while you may currently teach at a gym or rent space from a fitness co-op, in the back of your mind you’re dreaming of opening your own place with your own name and your own brand.
But how do you know if you’re actually ready to take your passion for healthy living out into your community and start impacting lives on a larger scale? Keep reading and see how many of the following you can check off your list.
If you teach something or have a product to sell, and you’ve tested your market, you’re on the right track. Nailing down a product or service that people will actually pay for is one of the most difficult things to do in the health and wellness industry. As I said, there are a million people out there with passion and drive and great ideas, but until you have proven that people are willing to pay for what you offer, you're probably better off working for someone else.
The fun part is working with clients, teaching, coaching, and impacting lives. But the reality is there are marketing plans and business plans to create in order to set yourself up for success. Read more about the difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy in this recent blog article.
In a day when people read Amazon reviews before they buy anything, recipe reviews before they bake anything, and Yelp reviews before they go out to eat, trust me when I say you’ve got to have some credibility built up. If you have certifications, degrees, or testimonials from someone other than your mother, you’re going to want to showcase them front and center. There are far too many crooks out in the world right now for anyone to spend money without doing a bit of research.
As a small business owner, you will fail. You will get bad reviews and people will tell you that you are wrong. Do not be afraid of this failure. Learn from it. Let it make you stronger. And the same thing goes for success. Do not hold back because you are worried about being overwhelmed, overworked, or perceived differently by your community. With failure comes growth. With success comes character. If you can make it through both, you’ll be set for life.
Waiting for a few more thousand in the bank? Want your kids to be a couple of years older? Were you hoping you’d complete one more training/certification/seminar before you launched your business to the world? There is never a “right time.” Taking baby steps today will help you run miles by the end of the year.
“You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going” -Jack Canfield
The difference between an employee and an owner is leadership. If you have big ideas, dreams to follow, a 5-year vision, and you’re able to motivate people to work together and accomplish a common goal, then you are a leader. If you’re happy coming to work, putting in your time and not worrying about making your own impact then you are an employee. Both are 100% okay and it’s better to know ahead of time what you’re getting into and accepting how being a leader will impact the rest of your life.
Money is a number in a bank account. That number is not good nor bad. That number has the meaning you give to it. If you are stressed about not having enough, you will never have enough. If you are overwhelmed with what you have, you will never be able to relax and enjoy life. Read up on money mindset and take it to heart. It makes a giant difference in how you perceive your own business.
Business is a numbers game no matter how you frame it. In order to make money, you need to know your basic expenses. If you don’t know how much building rent will run you each month, or how much a part-time receptionist/office assistant will cost, it’s time to find out. Do you have equipment costs, furniture to purchase, heating or water to consider? Are you placing ads in local papers or running online social media campaigns? Get a spreadsheet open and start taking notes. Once you are making a bit of extra cash you can pay someone to run numbers for you (assuming it’s not your strong suit) but for the first few DIY years, it’s most likely going to be up to you.
Every state has slightly different requirements for a variety of health-focused businesses. You’re your local laws and licensing requirements before you get too far down the road. Same goes with any independent contractors you might hire. If you’ve been working as a contractor you have a leg up, but don’t assume you know all of the details. Better to be safe than lose your business later on down the road.
We all want to help as many people as we can. As health and wellness-focused business owners, it's in our blood. But the old saying is true – when you try and speak to everyone, you speak to no one. Get laser focused on your niche market and stay true to them. If you are based in a large city or online, you have even more flexibility with this one. Maybe you’re building an entire business around prenatal yoga. Or maybe you help busy single dads with meal planning. Get focused and speak directly to your core audience. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you gain a loyal following.
Once you know your audience, it’s time to get clear on your branding. Know who you’re talking to, why you offer what you do and what problem you are solving. People pay to relieve some pain point in their lives. Tap into that frustration and focus your branding early. Remember, the bigger the pain point, the more people will pay.
We live in a digital world where the options to own and run a business are nearly limitless. If you want to create classes and teach online only, you can. If you want to meet with clients face to face, you can. If you want to do both – keep your favorite clients and sell access to a collection of online classes or sessions, you can do that too. Know your options and choose what is right for you and the lifestyle you want for yourself.
You can’t run your own business if you’re not dedicated to the cause. It’s okay to be passionate about your industry, your clients, your methods, and your products. It’s a good thing to want to talk about your business all the time. That means you are exactly where you need to be doing exactly what you need to do with your life. The word passion is overhyped right now, but the concept is 100% legit. Do what you love and tell the world.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar
You got into this industry to help others, not talk about yourself. I hear you, but without your excitement, passion, and story of dedication for your specialty, your clients will never learn to appreciate you or what you do. Think back to the last public speaker you saw. If anything they said stuck with you, it was because of their energy and passion for their topic. BE an ambassador for your industry. Tell everyone what you do and why you do it. That positive attitude and energy will be contagious and clients will go out of their way to work with you.
We all need a support system in life and in business. As a small business owner, you may feel like no one understands your schedule, your stress, or the tiny empire you’re building. Find a group of business owners and lean on them when you need to. Don’t try and go it alone – it can be a lonely world.
In the end, you don’t need a checklist to tell you if you’re ready to open your own business. Go with your gut and know that amazing things happen when you venture outside of your comfort zone. Take smart, calculated risks but know that risks are necessary. If you’re not comfortable stepping outside of your comfort zone then continue to change lives one by one working as an independent contractor or larger organization. No matter what you decide, you are changing lives and making the world a healthier place to live.
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